As Dynasty owner/evaluators we often pound our chests for the many ADP arrows we fire each off-season. How often do you look deeply into your mistakes? Sure you may mention them in passing or reference them as why you took player A over player B. I feel it is a useful practice to find at least three negative things about the players you love. This could prevent starry eyed dreams of dominate decades. We all have those three or four prospects in every draft that we believe in more than others. Come late August out lineups are juiced with “Our Guys,” but when they fail we also tumble in the standings
This series of articles is not meant to define “what is a bust.” That would be an impossibly elaborate task, and I may not have a big enough pen, yet. What I am trying to do is look the players that I thought were slam dunks, sure things or safe and figure out why they failed to move the production meter. I have tried to eliminate the easy ones like Justin Blackmon (pure stupidity) and Kevin White (eggshell fragile) and focus on those that had on the field chances.
Brett Hundley – (Drafted 5th round -2015 – 147th overall by Green Bay)
Why I Fell in Love:
So yes I am well aware of Aaron Rodgers and his regal status within the Dynasty Community. However, let’s back it up a little. The QB I saw improvising and desperately slinging at UCLA was full of heart and grit. Much like Josh Allen’s this year, Hundley’s offensive line did him no favors. His improvisation and agility reminded me of the excitement Michael Vick brought to the game. Although Hundley was not a burner like Vick.
Hundley was taken in the same draft that saw Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota go first and second overall. Now, I was not considering Hundley to be better than either, but I thought he could be serviceable if given an opportunity. When Green Bay drafted him, I dropped my shoulders in bewilderment. Surely he was better than the career backup it looked like he was about to become.
A wiser fellow pigskin addict (whom I trust) expressed deep doubts about Hundley’s all-around athleticism to me. He stated you have to be a superior athlete to be able to run the football as an NFL quarterback. I listened, but my heart did not as I continued to pound the table and lead the Hundley charge.
Again he was my rookie QB3 for that season, let’s be clear about that. But, why oh why was Green Bay doing this to me?
Then, of course, my rational conclusion was Hundley can flash in the preseason or come off the bench and lead a dramatic come from behind victory (ala Matt Flynn). He will be in high demand some off-season and peeps would be lining up to trade for him. Surely my green uneducated scouting opinion was right!
Fast Forward to the present…
Hundley is only 25 years old. Guys like Nick Foles (deservedly so) and A.J. McCarron (another former 5th rounder who is two years older than Hundley and has started a third of the games Hundley has) are getting all the trade buzz. Foles is not your atypical backup 39 (22 wins & 17 loses) starts in 6 NFL seasons. When it comes to McCarron, on the other hand, I guess less is more?
Where I went wrong:
Hundley was not improvising. He was mostly running scared. Since he was an elite “college” athlete, it was easy for the viewer to be impressed. Of course in the NFL preseason, he looked stunning. His TD runs were fabulous, but they were not very contested.
His deep passes, while they were mostly accurate, lacked zip. In fact, most passes lack a certain urgency as they dropped from the sky like wounded birds. Seriously just watch his college tape, and you will see a lack of or very slow rotation of the ball. On the one hand, they looked like beer pong balls being dropped into a glass. On the other hand the did not look like NFL football throws. That was the overt and obligatory problem. It was right in front of me. Quarterback urgency should be combated with speedballing slants or dumping off to your safe option. It should not be tiptoeing for first down or extending a play that no longer has a high percentage of survival or success rate.
Hundley’s big plays in college were mostly on 9-routes. There were little anticipatory throws where he would throw to an area. It’s one thing to be able to make the throw buts it’s an another to have the confidence to throw to where a receiver should end of his route. This can separate good QBs from great QBs. It’s the old proactive vs. reactive rule. If a QB has patience and poise, he will let receivers develop their routes to the fullest extent. This takes real courage by standing tall in the pocket and stepping up into the pocket to throw not run. Hundley was playing school catch by chucking the ball (rainbow) style and praying for positive yardage.